Lydia Bourouiba

Associate Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
Affiliate Faculty of the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science
Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology (HST) Faculty
Affiliate Faculty of Harvard Medical School

Physical applied mathematician focusing on problems at the interface of fluid dynamics and disease transmission with the aim of elucidating the fundamental physical mechanisms shaping the epidemiology and disease transmission dynamics in human, animal and plant populations. With a doctoral research focused on the theoretical and numerical study of rotating homogeneous turbulence and a subsequent postdoctoral research focused on the mathematical modeling of infectious diseases and epidemiology, the focus of the Bourouiba Group is to elucidate the poorly understood mechanisms of disease transmission through the lens of fluid dynamics.

Prof. Bourouiba founded The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory at MIT in 2014, when she was appointed as Assistant Professor. Prof. Bourouiba was promoted to Associated Professor Without Tenure in 2019, and to Associate Professor With Tenure in 2020.

In 2019, Prof. Bourouiba founded and chaired the inaugural Fluids and Health Conference: Fluid dynamics of disease transmission to foster the growth of this exciting frontier area of research beyond the Bourouiba Group and define the exciting key challenges at the interface of fluid dynamics and epidemiology/public health. In 2020, she then founded and will Chair the new Gordon Research Conference focused on Fluids and Health: Fluids in Disease Transmission and Contamination to be held in August 2022  to continue growing this critical frontier domain of research. Stay tuned and subscribe to the mailing list of the Fluids and Health Conference here or here for updates on this upcoming exciting new Gordon Research Conference on this frontier topic.

For more on the laboratory's focus and discussions of implications for current COVID19 or other pandemics and critical public health questions, visit: TEDMED19, or IMES Feature 2015, Nature Feature 2016  or more recent COVID19 context discussion on routes of infectious disease transmission and urgent need to redefine the associated framework and to extend and root such epidemiological concepts in physical and biomedical mechanistic understanding.

For more, click on projects, publications, and involvement in context of COVID19 or more in the above tabs. 


77 Massachusetts Ave
The Fluid Dynamics of Disease Transmission Laboratory
Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: 617.324.7745

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Administrative Assistant to the Bourouiba Group:




We are actively engaged with colleagues at MIT,  Harvard, and local hospitals in understanding and mitigating the transmission of respiratory infectious diseases, including COVID-19. If you would like to help us accelerate our research during this time of pandemic, we need all the support we can get at this time, please consider making a contribution. You can help support our mission and ongoing COVID-19 efforts here.

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Openings: Please contact us for inquiry about openings of Postdoc, Graduate student, and internship positions in the group.